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Moses Adams Packard, of Brockton, where he has been so long and so successfully engaged in the manufacture of shoes, is as well one of that city’s highly honored and respected citizens. Mr. Packard began life with little capital save boundless energy and a resolute purpose, and has pushed his way upward against almost every kind of obstacle until he now holds a foremost position among the leading manufacturers in this Commonwealth, vindicating the old saying, “Labor is king.” In the best sense of the word Mr. Packard is a self-made man, not, however, that he has no friends and that no kind words have been spoken to him. Courage, fidelity, thrift and integrity constitute the price that must be paid in return for success in life, and Mr. Packard has settled in large and overflowing measure for all that fate or fortune may have brought him. He was born Feb. 28, 1843, in New London, N. H., which was the home of his mother, while his father was a native of North Bridgewater, and a descendant of one of the old and historical families of Massachusetts.
Since its coming to this Bridgewater settlement, which was the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, as early as 1664, to the present time, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in this community, and has become a most numerous family, many, too, of its members both at home and abroad having given a good account of themselves.
Samuel Packard Family of Hingham and West Bridgewater Massachusetts
Samuel Packard, with his wife and child, came from Windham, near Hingham, England, in the ship “Diligence” of Ipswich, England. He first settled in Hingham, Mass., in 1638, where he was a proprietor that year. He later removed to West Bridgewater, where as stated the first settlements in the old town of Bridgewater were made. He was constable there in 1664, and licensed to keep an ordinary, or tavern, in 1670. From his will, probated March 3, 1684-85, it appears that the Christian name of his wife was Elizabeth. His children were:
- Elizabeth Packard
- Samuel Packard
- Zaccheus Packard
- Thomas Packard
- John Packard
- Nathaniel Packard
- Mary Packard
- Hannah Packard
- Israel Packard
- Joel Packard
- Deborah Packard
- Deliverance Packard
Zaccheus Packard Family of Duxbury and Bridgewater Massachusetts
Zaccheus Packard, son of Samuel, married Sarah Howard, daughter of John Howard, who came from England and settled in Duxbury, later becoming one of the first settlers of Bridgewater, in 1651, where he was an inn-keeper, and died in 1700. His children were:
- Israel Packard, born in 1680
- Sarah Packard, born in 1682
- Jonathan Packard, born in 1684
- David Packard, born in 1687
- Solomon Packard, born in 1689
- James Packard, born in 1691
- Zaccheus Packard, born in 1693
- John Packard, born in 1695
- Abiel Packard, born in 1699
The last six sons settled in the North parish of Bridgewater, now Brockton. The father died Aug. 3, 1723.
David Packard Family of North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts
David Packard, son of Zaccheus, was born Feb. 11, 1687, and married Dec. 17, 1712, Hannah Ames, daughter of John and Sarah (Willis) Ames, and granddaughter of William Ames, who came from England and was of Braintree, Mass., in 1640. David Packard was among the early settlers in the North parish of Bridgewater, now Brockton, and lived on what in the early years of the nineteenth century was the Capt. Robert Packard place. His children were:
- David Packard, Jr., who married Mehitable Richards
- William Packard, who married Sarah Richards
- Hannah Packard, who married Samuel Brett
- Isaac Packard, who married Abigail Porter
- Mary Packard, who married Daniel Richards
- Ebenezer Packard, who married Sarah Perkins
- Abiah Packard, who married Phebe Pain
- Mehitable Packard, who married Simeon Brett
- Jane Packard, who married Matthew Kingman
The father died Nov. 3, 1755, aged sixty-eight years, and the mother died Jan. 10, 1767.
William Packard Family of North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts
William Packard, son of David, was born Nov. 14, 1715, and married Sept. 16, 1740, Sarah Richards, daughter of Benjamin Richards, of Randolph, Mass. Mr. Packard lived to be ninety years of age, dying Oct. 28, 1805, and his wife died Jan. 4, 1806, aged eighty-six years. His children were:
- Amy Packard married Levi French
- Hannah Packard married Philip Reynolds and (second) Enos Thayer
- William Packard, Jr., married Hannah Reynolds
- Lemuel Packard married Sarah Hunt
- Sarah Packard married Samuel Sturtevant
- Silvanus Packard married Elizabeth Marston
- Keziah Packard married a Pierce
- Matilda Packard married Capt. Zachariah Gurney
Capt. Lemuel Packard Family of North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts
Capt. Lemuel Packard, son of William, was born June 9, 1747, and married in 1774 Sarah Hunt, daughter of Micah Hunt, of Abington, Mass. Their children were:
- Lemuel Packard, Jr., born in 1775, who died in Boston in 1822
- Sally Packard, born in 1777, who married Thomas Cary
- Micah Packard, born in 1780, who married Lucinda Hartshorn
- John Packard, born in 1782, who married Silence Packard
- Arza Packard, born in 1784, who married Abi Knapp
- David Packard, born in 1787, who married Susanna Perkins
- Silvanus Packard, born in 1789, who married Sarah Freeman
- Martin Packard, born in 1791, who married Mary Powers
- Orren Packard, born in 1793, who died young
- Ozen Packard, twin to Orren, who also died young
- Isaac Packard, born in 1796, who married Sally Packard
Lemuel Packard was a justice of the peace, and was also a captain in the militia. He served in the Revolutionary war, and was a private in Capt. Josiah Hayden’s company, Col. John Bailey’s regiment of minute-men, who marched on April 19, 1775, at the Lexington alarm. He died Nov. 7, 1822, aged seventy-five years, and his wife died March 11, 1825.
David Packard Family of North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts
David Packard, son of Capt. Lemuel, was born Feb. 8, 1787, in North Bridgewater, and married Jan. 1, 1810, Susanna Perkins, daughter of Ensign Mark Perkins (who was a soldier in the Revolutionary war), and his wife Tabitha (Washburn), daughter of Jeremiah Washburn. Mr. Packard owned a large tract of land in North Bridgewater, in that part of the town known as Centreville, upon which he was engaged in farming until his death, Dec. 11, 1855, when in the sixty-ninth year of his age. His children were:
- Susann Packarda married Henry Blanchard, of East Stoughton, Mass.
- Martin Packard married Anna Adams, of New London, N. H.
- David Packard, Jr., died at the age of sixteen years
- Sylvanus Packard married Caroline Foster, of Kingston, Mass., and (second) Mary (Zimmerman) Laubchar, of Seattle, Wash.
- Isaac Packard married Sarah H. Bonney, of Kingston, Mass.
- Lemuel Packard married Clarissa H. Whiting, of Hollister, Mass., and (second) Louise M. Robinson, of Brockton
- Sarah Packard married Henry R. Haven, of Boston
- Mary Packard married Lewis Thayer, of Easton, Mass.
- Elizabeth Packard A. married Francis Thayer, of Easton
- Sally Packard died young
Martin Packard Family of North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts
Martin Packard, son of David, was born in North Bridgewater, now Brockton, and was there engaged in farming until his marriage, when he settled in New London, N. H., where he continued at farming for a period of about five years. He then returned to his native town, where for a time he was engaged at shoemaking, it then being the custom to obtain the stock at the factories, and after making up the shoes at home return the finished product to the factories, ready for the market. He continued thus employed for a number of years, together with farming, until his father’s death, after which he devoted his entire time to farming, in which he was extensively engaged until his death which occurred March 25, 1894, when he was aged seventy-four years. Mr. Packard was possessed of a very rugged constitution, and was very industrious. In disposition he was of a genial, jovial nature, and was a kind and considerate neighbor. He was a member of the First Universalist Church, and a liberal supporter of al] its works. In political faith he was a stanch Republican. He married May 31, 1839, Anna Adams, who was engaged in teaching. She was a daughter of Moses and Betsey (Stinson) Adams, of New London, N. H., and granddaughter of Moses Adams, Sr., who was a Revolutionary soldier. Mrs. Packard passed away in Brockton, in September, 1894, the mother of children as follows:
- Sarah Agnes Packard, born Jan. 12, 1841, married Jan. 23, 1859, John B. Parker, son of Aaron L. and Priscilla (Buzzell) Parker, of Boxford, Mass. Mr. Parker was a shoe cutter by trade, and now lives retired in Brockton; he was a private in Company F, 58th Mass. V. I., during the Civil war, and now belongs to the G. A. R. Mrs. Parker is an active member of the W. R. C, and is past president of the Massachusetts Department, and past chaplain of the national organization; she is also ex-president of the Packard Family Association, in which she has been an active worker. Mr. and Mrs. Parker have had children:
- Charles Martin Parker, who died aged two years
- Katie Florence Parker, wife of Robert W. Davis, of North Easton
- Fred Chandler Parker, who married Maud E. Crummett, of Sanford, Maine, and died in Taunton, aged thirty-seven years
- John Oilman Parker, who died in infancy
- Elmer Ernest Parker, who died aged two years
- Annie Edith Parker, wife of Harry L. Thompson, of Brockton
- Frank Adams Parker, who married Lorena M. McIlvene, of Brockton
- Moses Adams Packard, born Feb. 28, 1843, is mentioned below.
- Helen Jane Packard, born Oct. 12, 1845, married Gardner W. Reynolds and (second) Charles Dodge (now deceased), and resides in Brockton.
- George Martin Packard, born May 24, 1847, died Sept. 12, 1849.
- Walter Martin Packard, born Feb. 23, 1851, died Aug. 22, 1851.
Moses Adams Packard Family of North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts
Moses Adams Packard, son of the late Martin and Anna (Adams) Packard, was born Feb. 28, 1843, in New London, N. H, the home of his mother prior to her marriage, and where his parents lived for about five years after their marriage. When he was but one and a half years of age, his parents moved to North Bridgewater, Mass., where he has since resided, in what is now known as Centreville, Brockton. Mr. Packard is the worthy representative of a family well known as having been either shoe makers or manufacturers from the earliest settlement of the old town of North Bridgewater. Up to the time he was sixteen years of age he was a pupil in the public schools of the town, working with his father at farming and shoe-making when not in school. After acquiring but a common school education Mr. Packard commenced to take out stock, as was the custom, and after making up the shoes at home return them to the factory. He continued in this business a little over two years, or until the fall of 1862. In August of that year President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 volunteers to serve nine months, and in response to the above call he deemed it his duty to enlist, which he did in September, 1862. He was in the army for about a year, from Sept. 26, 1862, to July 7, 1863, a member of Company G, 45th Mass. V. I., under Col. Charles E. Codman, and Capt. Joseph Murdock. This regiment, which was known as the “Cadet Regiment,” embarked on board a steamer for Newbern, N. C, Oct. 24, 1862, joining General Foster’s forces, and was engaged in picket duty, and was also in the battles of Whitehall and Kinston. Mr. Packard was in active service about six months at Fort Macon, N. C, where he, with others, was engaged in holding the fort at that place. Upon his return from the army he again resumed work at shoemaking for about two years, at the end of which time he commenced manufacturing shoes on his own account in a small way in a shop 12×18 feet, at the corner of Main and Packard streets, opposite his present handsome residence, and on land which was a part of the large farm of his grandfather, David Packard, and here he continued for about two years, having a capacity of about two cases of all handmade shoes. He then discontinued the manufacture of shoes on his own account, and accepted a position as foreman in the cutting room of Orr & Sears’s shoe factory, continuing in that capacity for about six years, after which for a period of about two years he was employed in the same department in the factory of Green & Keith, and then with Marcus Reynolds.
At this time Mr. Packard again entered into the manufacturing business on his own account, locating in the Marcus Holmes shop, in “Factory Village,” where he had a capacity of about twenty cases of shoes per day, and here he remained for a time. He then removed to Main street, where he remained until 1878, in which year he moved to his present location, on Warren avenue, erecting his factory, and to this original building additions have been made until today it is four times as large as it was when he first began business there, in 1878. At the beginning of his business career Mr. Packard carried out the idea of making a shoe at a special price and advertising it. He made a shoe which retailed at $2.99, and began to advertise it in a small way in a shoe trade journal, and this was the first attempt to fix the price at which the retailer must sell; this advertisement was the first effort to push a special grade of shoes. This was in 1881. The first case of $2.99 shoes that were sold were shipped to Messrs. Husted Brothers, of Norwalk, Ohio, who have been regular customers of the M. A. Packard Company to the present date.
In 1884 Mr. Packard took Capt. E. B. Grover into the business, and the firm name was changed from M. A. Packard & Co. to Packard & Grover. This partnership continued until Jan. 1, 1889, when Captain Grover retired, and the firm was reorganized as M. A. Packard & Co., Mr. Packard having John S. Kent and O. M. Fisher as partners, both of whom had been in his employ for several years. On March 1, 1898, the business was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts (with a capital stock of $200,000) as the M. A. Packard Company, of which corporation Mr. Packard has since been president. This concern is one of the largest engaged in the manufacture of shoes in the city, giving employment to several hundred hands, and having a capacity of from three hundred to four hundred cases of shoes every day, and their product, known as the Packard shoe, enjoys an enviable reputation for quality, style and finish.
Mr. Packard is a prominent member of Fletcher Webster Post, No. 13, G. A. E., and of the Forty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Veterans’ Association, which he served for several years as first vice president. In his political faith he is a stalwart Republican, and was a member of the board of aldermen of the city in 1890-91-92-93, and president of the board in 1892 and 1893. He is an active member of the Commercial Club of Brockton; a member of Paul Severe Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Satucket Chapter, E. A. M.; Brockton Council, E. & S. M.; Bay State Commandery, K. T., of Brockton; Massachusetts Consistory, Thirty-second degree, Boston; Aleppo Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Boston; Brockton Lodge, No. 240, I. 0. 0. F.; and the Brockton Shoe Manufacturers’ Association. He was one of the incorporators of the Brockton Savings Bank.
Mr. Packard is a quiet, unassuming man, of public spirit, attentive to business, interested in the welfare of the city and always ready to contribute his share to sustain its credit and good name. In private life he takes great delight in the company of his immediate friends, relatives and associates. He takes especial interest in agricultural affairs, and has about one hundred acres of land on Pine street in Jerusalem district, West Bridgewater, upon which he has the best of stock. He has been a farmer for some fifteen years, his agricultural work, together with his extensive manufacturing interests, making him a very busy man.
On Feb. 28, 1866, Mr. Packard married Abbie Dunbar, daughter of Charles Ager and Lucy E. (Lincoln) Dunbar, of Brockton. Mr. and Mrs. Packard have no children. They are active members of the Universalist Church, as the Packards have all been for several generations. Mrs. Packard traces her lineage back to several of the early settled families of New England, and is also descended from Revolutionary stock, her mother’s father having fought in that war. In 1895 Mr. Packard erected his present handsome stone residence at the corner of Main and Florence streets, upon land which was formerly a part of his grandfather’s extensive farm, and which is now one of the most attractive places in the city.